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FIA Institute selects Young Driver Excellence Academy line-up

The FIA Institute has selected the 10 drivers to participate in its next Young Driver Excellence Academy following a series of global selection events.

Ignas Gelzinis, Abdullah Bamogaddam, Kelvin van der Linde, Diego Ferreira and Akhil Rabindra won the five individual events in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Americas and Asia-Pacific respectively.

In addition to those drivers, Jorge Cevallos, Michelle Gatting, Mauricio Hernandez, Erik Johansson and Henk Lategan have also been included in the programme.

Two-time Le Mans winner Alex Wurz and former World Rally champion co-driver Robert Reid were involved in the selection and will tutor the group through 2013/14.

Wurz said: "The selection process was on a global scale and this helped us to reach more talent across the world.

"The 10 drivers we selected are truly gifted and talented, so I see them again following in the footsteps of previous academy participants, to the pinnacle of motor sport.

"Now as we start with polishing these diamonds, their talent and skills will be developed over five intensive workshops."

Former graduates of the Young Driver Excellence Academy are Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi and Volkswagen WRC star Andreas Mikkelsen.

The programme starts with its first workshop based out of Edinburgh University and led by Reid next month.

Reid praised the decision to move the selection process away from a single central European event.

He said: "The addition of regional training and selection events this year has meant that a record number of young drivers have already benefitted from Academy-level training.

"I am now really looking forward to working with those selected for the first Academy workshop in a few weeks time."

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